The Stanton Drew Stone Circle or, to be more precise, three stone circles, dates from around 3000 BC and enjoys a relatively isolated location well off the beaten track. The stones themselves stand sullen and silent - brooding guardians of ancient mysteries around which all manner of legends and ghostly tales have been woven.
Although twice the size of its more famous cousins, Stonehenge and Avebury, it is a lot less well known and has managed to retain a distinctive aura of detachment and solitude.
Where history remains mute, however, folklore and legend have been more than happy to step into the void, providing their own intriguing explanation as to the origin of the stones.
Tradition holds that they are the petrified remains of a wedding party, turned to stone by the Devil! The story goes that a great wedding feast was held in the vicinity on a Saturday, and everyone was enjoying themselves immensely. The bride, a little intoxicated by the flowing drink and lively carousing, urged the fiddler to play on, even though the Sabbath was rapidly approaching. The fiddler refused, whereupon the bride exclaimed that the dancing would continue even if she had to go to Hell to find a fiddler. It was an unwise outburst, for no sooner had the words left her mouth than a tall stranger appeared in their midst and struck up a merry jig. Faster and faster the guests twirled, swirled and spun, each of them unable to stop, as the dance went on and on through the night. Come the dawn they had all been turned to stone, and the fiddler, who was, of course, the Devil himself, had seized their souls and spirited them away to the fires of Hell.
So it is that the sullen stones are said to be the petriﬁed bodies of the guests, while a grouping of two standing stones and one recumbent stone located in the garden of the village pub - the Druids Arms - are said to be the mortal remains of the bride, bridegroom and parson. There is also a belief that confusion, even death, awaits anyone who attempts to count the stones. Some say that this can never be done accurately because attempts to do so will always wield a different total. Others say that you will drop dead before completing the task.
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